Which Office for Linux is most compatible with MS Office?

To get LibreOffice to run properly, you also need the correct fonts setup, as LibreOffice in Linux gets confused with fonts, hence why everyone including myself hate the fact, that you have to tinker around to get it right.


Sorry Jorge, it is Softmaker Office suite that I purchased. They have 2 versions, and one is “NX.” Here is the link to their products. They claim to be the closest alternative to MS Office.



AFAIK it’s technically the same as their Office suite, the NX differs the licencing. NX is a subscription, the other is a classic purchase, but the applications possibilities are the same.


Here is a video tutorial to get LibreOffice working properly


The look&feel is bullshit, I think, that’s not the compatibility.
However, the interesting part begins here:

There are settings mentioned I never looked into…
and of course they wirth a try!
My biggest problem with LO is that even if I have the right fonts installed, Writer quite often messes up a tricky Word document: it produces completely different page layouts, pictures placed wrongly in the text, headers / footers appear different etc…

Those settings may be relevant, I’m gonig to try them, so thanks for sharing this video!


Oh yeah, the words of warning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0che2Az9hw&t=665s

So it won’t be “that” compatibel :thinking:


There are currently two standards regarding office documents. The first one was with the Open Document Format, which is a very precise specification. Microsoft took note of this and put something together which isn’t all that precise and proposed it at the ISO board as a new standard. However, Microsoft had given all kinds of “incentives” to their platinum partners to join is to vote for their “standard”.

So, now we’re stuck with two ISO office document standards; the first one is the ODF format, which is actually usable, and the second one is the MS Office standard, which is actually semi-useful as a standard - it’s only been submitted to be able to say: “Yes, our office product follows a standard,” so organizations having to comply with the ISO standards can actually use it; NOT to actually help competition.


Is ODF only a file format standard, or does it also control the ways in which various parts of the office suit work together. ?

FOSS users need to insist on ODF.

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Have you tried OnlyOffice (OO) https://www.onlyoffice.com it is free to download and use

Frank in County Wicklow - Ireland


Several years ago, when I was proofreading academic papers by students in Asia, I had relentless formatting issues, especially when charts and tables had labels. Libre often messed up the formatting. I found one program, WPS, that seemed better at maintaining such formatting.It was a bit harder for me to use, but I had fewer issues with the saved edits.


WPS is available for Android as well as Linux


Hi, my friends,
Please accept my apologies in advance because I have had little time for the forum, partly because of what this thread started, and I never remembered to respond.

Sheila (@Sheila_Flanagan),
Thank you very much for your reply.
I didn’t respond in time, but László responded for me
Thanks, László.

Mark (@clatterfordslim) ,
Thanks for the video, I’ll watch it next.
László, thanks for the tags in the video. :+1:

Frank (@wicklowham ),
Yes, it’s one of the offices I use, along with LibreOffice.

CLiff (@cliffsloane ),
I also tested WPS, thanks for the tip.

What was the conclusion I reached:
1 - The compatibility of all the software you mention is not the same with MsOffice: there is always something that fails;

2 - from everything I tested, I could be wrong, but for what I intended, MS Office is n’t 100% compatible with any of the programs I tested

The solution I came up with, in my case and to minimize the problems because we are a group using Windows and I use Linux, was to use Google Docs and Google Sheets.

Paul (@callpaul.eu ),
I cannot consider it correct because what I was looking for was the software to use that was as compatible as possible with MS Office. However, I want thank you for the tip, which was the alternative I had to use.

Many thanks to everyone who responded to the thread



A pleasure

Its always interesting to have a topic where so many respond and so many different ideas and contributions allows us all to think outside of our normal box.

We do have many very talented members of this site with vastly different knowledge and experiences from which we can all benefit


Thing with Multiple Sclorosis Office is Microsoft always bends over backwards to ensure it’s incompatible with other office products in small, but frustrating ways.

If you go back far enough, you’ll find out MS Office isn’t compatible with an older version of itself.

If MS were to compete on a level playing field, they’d lose pretty hard.


Hi Xander,
Including with the free Office 365 online version itself



This is the exact reason administrative departments use pdf to store documents they need to store for a long time; they can’t trust whether the next version of office will break compatibility. Pdf is a standard which will always stay the same.

Spreadsheet software is not accounting software (for example). Before you grab for a spreadsheet, wonder real hard whether it’s the solution you actually need ot whether you’d need a specialized application with a database backend or some such.

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Some years ago we started a small farm business. The accountant said use a spreadsheet. I went home and wrote 2 small C programs to keep and process our accounts. They lasted 20 years without single modification, and I can still access the files today if needed because they are text files. They had built in checksums and no error ever reached the tax office.
The point about standards and pdf is very important. Text files are the most universal standard. Even pdf has versions, but it is fairly safe.


Just to return to google docs and sheets

You must have a gmail account for it to work, I did forget and invited a hotmail user but she could not get access, had to set up a gmail account for her to share. Understandable after the event.

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Thing with plain text is; even for that there was no standard for a LOOOOOONG time. ASCII was convenient in English speaking countries, but there was also EBDIC and some others.

If somebody from Japan, China, or an Arab country wanted to exchange a document with somebody in an English speaking country, that would cause huge problems.

Eventually unicode came to the scene, but even that is not followed by everyone. Almost everyone implemented utf-8, but Microsoft (as usual, trying to break standards) created utf-16. Luckily, the rest of the world (including the www) ignored Microsoft and went with utf-8.

ASCII got its eventual extension with an 8th bit into XASCII, but that was well before unicode arrived to the scene, which resulted in considerable complications. To this day, C and C++ don’t really support unicode, because of the magical backwards compatibility. You need external libraries, such as gettext and libICU to get proper i18n support.

Utf-8 has a flexible amount of bytes. It can be one byte long (in which case it represents ASCII), or it can have a length up to 8 bytes (hence, the 8 in utf). If it is longer than 1 byte, the first byte is used to indicate how long the character is. With utf-8 there’s also some bytes which have a special function (for example: indicate text direction, or combine with the next character to create a special character).

However, not every single programming language adheres to this and this tends to cause problems with the more exotic symbols. Things have improved a lot since the creation of unicode, even though there are different versions of it, and symbols might be different from one version to the next.

So, no, even text is not a universal standard. That being said, it has become more reliable in more recent decades. The Japanese, Arabs, Chinese, Russians, etc. have become way happier with the introduction of unicode.


Thank you. I did not appreciate that Unicode and utf8 are different.
I remember EBCDIC and BCD from my card punch days… there were several standards, even then.

So text is not a universal standard.
Where does that leave Unix that is so wedded to English text files?
I think the answer is that Linux uses what it calls ‘character devices’ that will read any
file as a byte stream… without interpreting what is coded in each byte. … that is still general. A text file seen as a byte stream is universal.
As soon as you start interpreting the codings in the bytes, there are problems with multiple standards.

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